sneak peek: charlotte and ludovic donker-toscan du plantier


As fun as living in Paris is, running away to the French countryside is also quite tempting. Artists Charlotte and Ludovic Donker-Toscan du Plantier and their three boys call Turenne in southwest France home. Charlotte is a photographer, and her husband is the general handyman for their 17th-century home. This amazing shell with beautiful stone stairs, big windows and chimneys in every room is decorated with a mix of family furniture and finds from vide greniers (the French equivalent to garage sales). As they restore the house, Charlotte and Ludovic like to keep in mind the men and women who worked on it in the past. Thanks so much to Charlotte for the beautiful images (and to Lily for the great tip!) — Anne

Image above: My bedroom with a bouquet of roses.

Image above: My husband reading Lacan under a Kenzo duvet.

The full sneak peek continues after the jump . . .

Image above: An old painting of an Italian friend and a balloon from my children in the corridor.

Image above: My bedroom with a Berber cover as a curtain.

Image above: My fridge with a vase from ceramists Catherine and Bruce Gould and a bird sculpture from our Scottish friend Mickael Williams.

Image above: Masks I brought from Cuba when I was working in the film industry.

Image above: Wolf mask on the attic door.

Image above: Our first kitten, Makita!

Image above: My husband’s feet!

Image above: Old-style armchairs with a Tonka dump truck.

Image above: Sunrise on the garden and sculpture by my artist friend Pierre-Etienne Ballif.

Image above: One of Makita’s babies, Dolmar.

Image above: We live in Turenne, a beautiful village of Correze in southwest France.

  1. Irene says:

    This is very beautiful – and the city looks charming!

  2. -maria says:

    Turenne looks like a wonderful place to live, so pretty and rustic.
    The country style of the house is very appealing, I’ve always loved how people manage to mix and incorporate vintage things into their daily rutines. However I do not appreciate the pictures so much, I wish you had presented a bigger range of shots, some in which you could include more of the interior design and not only feet and grass. :(

  3. Jennifer says:

    Colors, textures, history, beauty. A special home.

  4. k says:

    I adore her handwriting! (Her house is pretty cool too)

  5. Marie says:

    Gorgeous…I love every image and that you didn’t “stage away” your family’s daily life. Especially like the long Berber curtains which allow so much light.Thanks for sharing.

  6. Naieli says:

    I’m amazed at the people who have so much restraint to not overly decorate spaces like this! The emptiness is so beautiful and lets the thigns that are inside shine through even more.

  7. Saskia says:

    Ah, it’s a home where people spend more time with living than decorating. Really love it. And the village … looks like a winter fairytale. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Allison Clee says:

    This is one of the most beautiful and honest sneek peeks I have seen. Your home radiates with true European life and exemplifies what a home filled with love and family could be. I greatly admire the spontaneity and magic and calm :) thank you for sharing.

  9. Rachel Tatem says:

    I love old homes… I feel like they have the best feel

  10. Sinclaire McEwigg says:

    Love the blue trim!

  11. carrie leber says:

    gotta love the kitten! :-)

  12. I just love this series! My favorite part is what the featured artist writes about their home. This post is especially beautiful. That shot of the town makes me swoon!

  13. How picturesque and lovely. The bedroom’s berber curtain is so pretty!!

  14. These photos are beautiful! I know exactly what she means when she says the thing she loves most about her home is to see her children in it -I feel just the same way! Everything after that is the icing!

  15. starr says:

    LOVE -to-the-LEE, Lovely! !! and enjoyed your website also…

  16. Em says:

    Lovely home and lovely photographs! Readers should be aware though that if you click through to Charlotte’s work, some is very, very NSFW. I shall have to return when I am not on my office computer!

  17. April says:

    Love everything about this, how rough and yet finished it is.

  18. Nicole says:

    I love how the photos seem to be taken in the midst of real life, not “magazine shoots”. Not that photo shoots are bad, but it is nice to see something different too. :)

  19. I very much enjoy the story the photographs weave; it’s almost as if we are following the sunlight on its daily journey through the house, discovering little treasures along the way. Très charmant!

  20. Mary says:

    Wow, if I didn’t see the cars in the foreground I think this might be a dream.

  21. Cara says:

    *Kittens* … Want to pet!… Love the garden too with the beautiful wall

  22. Kerry says:

    what a beautiful eye for details — the play of light, your husband’s toes, a tonka truck, the hem of the berber textile…lovely through and through. and a husband who reads lacan, lucky you!

  23. Nikki says:

    Been looking everywhere for a floral duvet like the one pictured. Where can one find something like that in the States??? Anyone???

  24. Jan Brough says:

    Personally, I love feet and grass.
    Lovely, lovely, lovely . . . . an inspiration !

  25. Mary Taylor Keates says:

    I have been so lucky to travel the world and actually live in Paris for a year with my husband.While there,I always yearned to visit friends in the countryside because this is how they live!No where in the world do people enjoy their life more! This is my dream house so far at Design Sponge! The writing makes me long for France

  26. Tabitha says:

    I really enjoyed this sneak peak. I love the personal and poetic nature of it. The pictures have a dream like quality and it seems easy to imagine how one might feel in the space.

  27. This is the first home I’ve felt is really a home . . . it doesn’t look as if it walked out of a designer showroom.

  28. Svietka says:

    i see that unless it is ooohs and aaaahs a comment will not be published. Disappointing.

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      feel free to read any peek, before & after or diy (esp those involving books)- you’ll see we publish comments that are angry, disapproving or non-cloying all the time. your previous comment was anything but constructive, so it did not pass our commenting policy. feel free to rephrase and resubmit in a way that is constructive to the readers, subject and commenters.


  29. Alzyna says:

    This was for me the consummation of all sneak peeks. For the first time, I really felt that I was looking into someone’s home, with all its nooks and crannies, its peculiar rituals and atmosphere, indelibly stamped with character and a certain liveliness. It’s your attention to detail, captured in the design elements captured in your photographs that grabbed my attention. How I would love to inhabit even one of those spaces.

  30. Can i please live her? I mean everything is freaking perfect here. Everything looks so rustic and relaxing.


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